Interesting Free Speech Test

ESPN Dude Transgresses the Pieties by Stating His View the Homosex is a Sin

In a civilization where free speech is allowed, nothing happens as a result of this, just as nothing happens when the NY Times publishes images of “Piss Christ” (and scold Christians on their need to be tolerant) while refusing to publish Danish cartoons mocking Mohammed (out of fake “sensitivity” and extremely real cowardice.  It’s a free country.  The craven bullies and cowards at the NY Times can speak freely and mute themselves freely as they please and the rest of us can mock them for doing so.

But if ESPN chickens out, or the Gay Legion of Menacing Visigoths for Tolerance tries to smash the ESPN dude’s right to free speech, then we are no longer a civilization where free speech is allowed.  Only speech in praise of the manifold perfections of homosex is allowed and all other views will be met with swift punishment.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    The stupidest thing about this entire non-story is that they asked him for his opinion. When he gave it, they flipped.

    • Dale

      Am I misreading the WaPo article? It sounds as if ESPN is supportive of Broussard.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        You’re reading it right. I’m just being cynical and assuming what the response is going to be. Broussard forced to offer an apology, or possibly encouraged to resign.

        • JeffAStevens

          Except he was not forced to offer an apology nor has he resigned.

          • kenofken

            When you have a good Christian persecution narrative rolling, don’t let facts get in the way!

          • Andy, Bad Person

            It’s still early.

  • Pete the Greek

    I’m guessing they knew his opinion beforehand and were perhaps looking for a way to get him fired?

  • JMLattanzi

    ESPN has already “apologized” in a totally non-apologetic way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnhschaefer John Schaefer

    Mark, ESPN is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Secondly, it’s the passing of judgment that is going to create issue with folks: “I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.” He has determined that this person is NOT a Christian, and proclaimed it on a secular sports news show. That’s where it’s going to be an issue.

    Further, I think you are making a false equivalence between the “Piss Christ”, “Mohammed Cartoons” and this story. Nowhere have I seen anyone making fun of Christ in anyway.

    • kenofken

      ESPN is protected by the 1st, but Broussard has no constitutional guarantee to free expression through ESPN. It is up to the company who it wants to have representing it and what messages will be conveyed on its airwaves. They have no constitutional duty whatsoever to back Broussard on this. I suspect they will support his editorial freedom while making a disclaimer that his positions are not those of ESPN as an organization. If Broussard’s views are unpopular, that’s too bad, but it’s not a constitutional complaint.

      • http://www.facebook.com/johnhschaefer John Schaefer

        Thank you for clarifying my quick post, Ken. But, I should have clarified my thinking a little…”Freedom of Speech” is what Mark discussed in his post. “Freedom of the Press” would be the portion of the 1st Amendment that covers ESPN, and not Broussard as you point out.

        As an employee of ESPN, it’s probably not in Broussard’s best interest to speak about religion on the air, and interpret the bible as an expert. I’m not sure that his comments were appropriate at this time, or in that place.

    • vox borealis

      What do you mean ESPN is not protected by the First Amendment? As a news agency it most certainly is, as is every individual in the United States. Or are you trying to say that the First Amendment does not strictly apply in a case where (hypothetically) an organization decides to fire an employee for what the organization deems is inflammatory or offensive speech.

      • http://www.facebook.com/johnhschaefer John Schaefer

        That would be the second part, which I clarified down below. If they want to fire him, they certainly can.

  • vox borealis

    I’m not sure I agree with the statement: “In a civilization where free speech is allowed, nothing happens as a result of this.” By that logic, someone who denies the holocaust publicly should expect no response. Free speech, as I understand it, only protects individuals from governmental coercion and censorship, it does not protect people from responses to things that they say, especially if what they say is deemed inflammatory.

    That being said, I do agree with Mark Shea in pointing out the habitual hypocrisy of institutions when it comes to respecting free expression with respect to religious sensibilities.

    Also, while his theology was not perfect, Broussard’s statements were relatively articulate and thoughtful, placing homosexual sex within the broader context of sex outside of marriage properly understood. Fairly well done.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    The entire thing is a non-story. The “coming out” of a professional athlete was nothing but a publicity stunt coupled with a healthy dose of baiting.

    ESPN and their ilk have been gearing up for athletes to “come out” for quite a while, supported by popular TV shows helping forward the narrative. This whole incident is ridiculously contrived. An NBA player that probably would miss the cut on many college-level teams is on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That doesn’t stink of exploitation to you?

    • Newp Ort

      1st active out athlete in the big 4 pro sports. Nothing non about that story, it’s a milestone for pro sports. its news with a capital N. He’s a bit over the hill, sure but he’s a 12 yr vet.

      Funny, though, how things turn out. I always thought it’d be baseball.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000574231766 Janet O’Connor

    The whole issue of the First Amendment is becoming increasingly more difficult because it is always being restricted mostly in light of this issue. Benjamin Franklin said “I may agree with what you said but I will defend to the death your RIGHT TO SAY IT”. He along with the Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves now.

    • Newp Ort

      Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the 1st amendment means the government cannot punish you for or stop you from saying whatever you like (barring exceptions like shouting fire in a crowded theater). No one has a constitutional right to keep their job at ESPN, regardless of what they say.

      The founders are rolling in their graves because you don’t understand the Bill of Rights. And Ben Franklin never said that.

  • Imp the Vladaler

    Are we no longer a civilization where free speech is allowed if the anti-Semitic Trads listen to Mark’s admonitions and stop talking about the Holocaust?

  • Dale

    I think Broussard was fine until the end of his comment. Here is where he crossed the line:

    “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not
    just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between
    heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open
    rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. I would not characterize that
    person as a Christian because I do not think the Bible would
    characterize them as a Christian.”

    I am not sure what theology he is basing that on, but from a Catholic point of view it isn’t true. A Christian who is living in unrepentant sin is still a Christian. He is simply someone who needs to repent and change their life. A sad fact of the human condition is that we are in continuous need of repentance since we often fall short of what God expects from us.

    • LSUStatman

      No, it isn’t Catholic, but it does fit in with the apparent theologies of several Calvinist denominations in America today.

      Broussard is essentially expressing how such denominations deal with “backsliding”–they will call someone out if they are living a life of sin, using that life of sin as evidence that they were never “truly saved.” As such, they can pass judgment on the actions without breaking their fealty to “once saved, always saved.”

      Of course, since Catholics have the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we don’t have to go through this type of mental and theological gymnastics.

  • Tom James

    Broussard is the true brave one here. Hopefully Michelle Obama will contact him to let him know she’s got his back.

    • Newp Ort

      Never pass up a chance to slam the first lady, no matter how tenuously you can link her to the story.

      even Broussard said he admired the man’s courage.

  • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

    Newp Ort is absolutely right. This isn’t a classic “free speech” issue, since the Constitutional government’s not involved. People don’t have the right to say whatever they want, to anyone, about anyone, anywhere. What “free speech” really means is that we’ve recognized as a society that trying to correct false (and sometimes dangerous) opinions by means of a heavy, coercive state almost always does more harm than good. Therefore, the heavy, coercive state should stay out of it and let those people say what they like.

    But that doesn’t in any way mean that those false (and sometimes dangerous) opinions should not be, and do not have to be, corrected. Rather that the correction properly takes place at another level or in another realm of society: perhaps state or municipal, or else social or familial or economic (the latter being that vaunted “free market” solution).

    If there’s a backlash and a response against this commentator, it doesn’t mean that “free speech” is a dead letter in this country. It never meant people had to suffer obnoxious and offensive (and occasionally dangerous) opinions without attempting to correct them. The human race must do that (said St. Thomas). Rather it means that our society is so blinded to the truth about human sexuality that it cannot interpret a condemnation of a certain sexual behavior as anything other than a dangerous expression of enmity and hate.


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